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Elaine Ingram classes?  RSS feed

 
Greg B Smith
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Has anyone taken any of Elaine Ingram's online classes? If so what did you think? 
 
Aaron M Armstrong
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Location: Seattle, WA
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I'd love to know, as well. I think she'll be speaking at the NW Convergence in September.
 
Kerry Rodgers
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Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
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Hi Greg and Aaron,
I'm a huge fan of Elaine Ingham.  I took the former online course she did out of Australia in 2014, and now I'm taking the current offering they are running out of California. 

The older course was discussed on this permies thread, including posts by me where I try to review the course, and another where I try to summarize Elaine's basic approach.  If you aren't that familiar with Elaine's message, you could start with that thread, search permies, etc.   The older course had some production issues, the worst being that the lectures were recorded a few years before, and were out-of-sync with the live Q-n-A sessions.  But I thought the content was so interesting, and totally new to me, that I was willing to overlook the difficulties.

The current courses at http://www.lifeinthesoilclasses.com/ are way better, both in content and in production values.  The lectures are more organized and detailed, Elaine is in a studio, you can see the slides, etc.  Because I had already taken the 2014 course, I skipped the introductory course "Life in the Soil", and bought the 3-pack of "Compost class", "Compost Tea classs", and "Microscope class".   I started Compost sometime in fall 2016, and finished Compost and Compost Tea around Dec/Jan.  I barely started Microscope when life happened and I haven't gotten back to it, unfortunately.  But I think I have another half-year of access.

The Compost class has info about exactly how Elaine teaches that you should build and monitor a hot compost pile (which is rather specific, compared to all the stuff on the internet), both at backyard scale and at large scale. An unexpected boon was the depth of coverage on worm compost.  The worm compost material is actually the only part that I've worked in depth since the course, but I can say I'm pretty much dialed on that now, thanks to the course.  After the lecture segments, there are practical segments where Elaine and/or a helper build a thermal compost pile and a worm bin.  These are awesomely detailed, practical, and well presented.  Much better than anything I've seen on youtube--even the youtubes that have Elaine!  Elaine and her team have clearly noticed what details people had previously had problems understanding, and address them extra clearly.

The Compost Tea class is (obviously) about making compost tea and compost extract, how they help, and how to apply them.  There are also lectures and practical videos.  I haven't tried this yet, myself, but I'm really clear now on what Elaine says works and what she says doesn't.  There is so much conflicting info on the internet about this, that I think I would have made nothing useful without the course, and perhaps something toxic.

The Microscope class (for which you need to buy a $400-ish microscope), teaches you to take soil, compost, or tea samples, and count categories of micro-organisms to know what is missing, or what bad-guys are there, and what it all means.  I haven't seen most of this content yet.  The microscope part will need alot of practice to get good at identifying the different things you see.

There are live Q-n-A sessions on a rotating schedule, maybe like once per month?  In these, people who might be anywhere in or finished with the course just ask Elaine anything.  I find it super interesting.  These are recorded, if you cannot make the live timeslot (typically Sunday afternoon US Pacific, IIRC).

Like I said, I'm a huge fan.  People complain about the price, but I think it is correctly priced.  I'm not growing things for money (yet), but I can afford it.  I think anyone who is or expects to make a majority of their living by growing stuff would have a good return on investment from these courses.

If you have specific questions, please post and I'll do my best.  If you have an opportunity to see Dr Ingham live, I would take it!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Good info Kerry.

If you can take Dr. Ingham's course, you will learn around two years of college study, from one of the leaders in her field of microbiology.
Her new course is quite a bit easier for non-scientist than the first one.

Redhawk
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